Bikesharing Growing to Montgomery County
Building on the success of Capital Bikeshare in DC and Arlington County, Montgomery County is preparing to summit a grant application to Maryland DOT to incorporate bikesharing in the lower county region. The plan for 400 bicycles at 50 stations was presented last night a public meeting at the County Executive offices in Rockville. County planning and transportation officials presented proposed station plans for the urban areas of the county (Bethesda, Silver Spring, Takoma Park, Friendship Heights) and north along the legs of Red Line. The additional stations will provide connections between those activity centers and DC. A side note, in planning talks DDOT has agreed to expand bikeshare stations north between the system core and the new clusters in Bethesda, Silver Spring & Takoma Park to help connect the entire system. Montgomery County DOT Director Art Holmes spoke briefly about the expansion of bikeshare to the county. In his remarks, he told attendees, “we are very committed to this program”. Officials cautioned that the bikesharing program is contingent on the awarding of the state grants and may need to be built in phases. However, they feel very confident in their grant application. The Maryland grants are through Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) funds with a local match of 20% required. Attendees were asked to give ideas (put stickers on a map) for possible station locations. Consultant to the county, Paul DeMaio of MetroBike, explained the siting requirements for a station including access to direct sun, enough space, ownership, access to the station, proximity to bicycle infrastructure, etc. Those not at the meeting are invited to submit their ideas on the Capital Bikeshare Crowdsourcing Map. WABA is excited to see bikesharing grow and promote bicycle transportation in the region. We hope to see the needed infrastructure improvements, education offerings and necessary enforcement to make the system a success in the county as we have seen in DC and Arlington.